Brazil's Odebrecht files for bankruptcy after years of corruption probes

Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA said it was filing for bankruptcy protection on Monday, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13 billion) in debt in what would be one of Latin America's largest-ever in-court debt restructurings.

Adds details on the filing, largest creditors

SAO PAULO, June 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA said it was filing for bankruptcy protection on Monday, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13 billion) in debt in what would be one of Latin America's largest-ever in-court debt restructurings.

The bankruptcy filing comes after years of struggles for Odebrecht, the biggest of the Brazilian engineering groups caught in a sweeping political corruption investigation that rippled across Latin America.

In a statement, Odebrecht said the bankruptcy protection was the best way to conclude its debt restructuring as creditors sought to seize assets pledged as collateral to unpaid loans.

The debt restructuring does not include petrochemical producer Braskem SA BRKM5.SA, sugar and ethanol subsidiary Atvos Agroindustrial Participacoes SA, construction unit Odebrecht Engenharia e Construcao (OEC), oil company Ocyan, shipmaker Enseada, Odebrecht Transport or homebuilder Incorporadora OR.

The conglomerate's largest creditors are Brazilian state-owned lenders Banco do Brasil SA BBAS3.SA, Caixa Economica Federal and BNDES, as well as private banks Banco Bradesco SA BBDC4.SA, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA ITUB4.SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA SANB11.SA.

The group was advised by financial restructuring firm RK Partners and law firm E. Munhoz Advogados.

($1 = 3.8925 reais)

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves, Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer Editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O'Brien)

((brad.c.haynes@tr.com; +55 11 5644 7725; Reuters Messaging: brad.c.haynes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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